Amen; Hallelujah

by Reverend Kenneth Baglin

The church is full of needs. The youth have needs, the Sunday School children have needs, the singles have needs. God has not left the church ill-equipped. It is not sick, it is not without the necessary ministeries, but it is for us to find our place in God’s kingdom.

Revelation 18:20 – 19:4 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Allelulia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God:

For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judqed the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

In Revelation 18 we find the destruction of Babylon. Babylon plays an important part in scripture from the time of the building of the tower of Babel through to the book of Revelation where we find the destruction of that great city Babylon. Some Bible scholars say there will be a real Babylon and some say that it is only a
figurative city. I’m not sure which theory will prove to be true but with the current events now making history in the close of 1990 it is a fact that Sadam Huissain has a Babylon under construction.

Babylon, whether referring to the city or it’s figurative representation, has always been a symbol of “moral evil”. We find God saying in the above text that “moral evil” or “Babylon” is finally destroyed. Me, as Christians, destroyed our moral evils at an altar. Jesus destroyed it at the cross. The pressure of
our world’s “moral evils” is what we face at work, at school, and in  our homes; but thank God we still have access to an altar that plays an active part in our lives as Christians. Jesus Christ is ready to return. I’m not a prophetic preacher, but I know just enough in the Holy Ghost to know that I am looking with great joy for Jesus to return. But even as I wait I realize that Satan, and all of the devils and demons of hell are doing their best to destroy God’s church; and to destroy you and me. Every attempt we make to do something for God – they are out to repudiate.

There is a pressure in today’s world that has never before  doctrine, been felt. Everything – every moral, every message, every conviction, every standard, every tradition, everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Everything that can be disputed, changed, watered-down and polluted will be. 1990 is not the year, nor is today the day to even remotely consider backsliding. This is not the time to “play church”. This is not the time to play with the sacred principles of God; deeming this and that now unnecessary for our generation of enlightened thinking; and this is not the time to come and just have service. This is the time to receive our miracles; this is the time to reach out and touch the hem of His garment; this is the time to cling to our church family and our pastor and live powerfully in our Holy Ghost heritage. If you’ve ever prayed, this is the time to pray. If you’ve ever fasted, this is the time to fast. If you’ve every shouted and worshipped, this is the time to shout and worship.

If you’ve ever loved God, this is the time to love God, and if you’ve ever had the victory, this is the time to have victory.

“Moral evil” is destroyed. John said, “I heard a great voice of much people.” There is a church, and they were already in heaven (that’s us and we’re in our glorified state). What are these people saying? They’re saying, “Allelujah.”

What’s the first thing John heard them say about the victory of Babylon (“moral evil”) being destroyed? Revelation 19:1 says, “I heard a great voice of much people in heaven and they were saying, Allelujah.” Verse 3, “And again they said Allelujah and her smoke rose up for ever and ever.” Then verse 6, “…as a voice of mighty thunderings saying, Allelujah.” But in verse 4 John said, “The four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying,” not just Allelujah but they said, “Amen; Allelujah.”

Now Amen means, “trustworthy, surely and verily.” There are other meanings but the simplest and best means, “so be it”. And the four and twenty elders said, “So be it; Allelujah.”

It’s interesting that the word Allelujah that we us so frequently in our praise and worship of our Lord Jesus is found only in this portion of the Scripture. These are the only four times that this word is translated in the Bible; Revelation 19. The word “Allelujah” has already been translated in the Old Testament for you.
In Hebrew it is “Hallelujah” which means “praise ye Jehovah”, or “praise ye the Lord.” In Psalms, when the psalmist said, “praise ye the Lord” he was really saying “Hallelujah.”

The last word we find the in Old Testament is a curse. Malachi 4:6 says, “…I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The last words in the New Testament are in Revelation 22:20 which say, “He which testifieth these things sayeth, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus and the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.” So be it. It is interesting that these two words, “Amen” and “Allelujah” are connected. Prior
the end of a statement, to this “amen” is usually found at or near Thus and thus and thus..,”Amen-” So be it.

When Babylon is destroyed and the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fall on their knees and worship God, they do not just magnify and worship God with Allelujahs, but they are careful; for this is the last amen; they are careful to say, “Amen;  Allelujah.” They close first because they are closing the reign of  all moral evil in the world and then they unite in a powerful Amen when that evil is destroyed! So be it! And then the heavenly host begins to worship and forevermore say, “Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!”

All of us, during some part of our walk with Jesus, have experienced some “Amens”, or “so be its”, and some “Allelujahs”, or “praise ye the Lords”. However, there is a delicate balance we must obtain in our daily walk. We don’t just walk with “Amens”. Okay, I’m going through a trial – amen. You see every once and a while glory opens up and within my soul resounds “Allelujah!”

Everybody, whether sinner or Christian has problems in just living life. People have this artificial image in their mind of “the good life”. It has been painted there by the salespersons of our society, the advertising genius that so subtley focuses and directs our thinking processes; it’s on the billboards, it’s in every magazine, it’s in every newspaper, it’s in every catalog or piece of junk mail that passes our hands. The world’s projection of “the good life” is health, wealth, youth, sex, intelligence, and prosperity. You never see a typical old lady selling that new model of Chevrolet, it’s the picture-perfect blond, blue-eyed beauty with
her flashing pearly whites and perfect figure – the hair softly blowing in the breeze. Don’t fool yourselves – the church is profoundly affected by these images.

There is a spirit of “the good life” and godly people spend their time in the wrong persuits. It is not in possessions, in fancy labels in expensive clothing. It is not in fabulous antique furniture with gorgeous lace. It is not in vitamins and a perfect physique – “the good life” can only be found when that emptiness
that drives us is filled with the Spirit of God. “The good life” is the shouting, the unspeakable joy, the dancing, the worship, the baptism in Jesus’ Name, and the knowledge that you are completely  under His supervision and provision.

Don’t fool yourself. The devil is trying to destroy God’s church by this constant bombardment of “the good life”. Everybody has problems, everybody has troubles, everybody has heartaches, everybody has discouragements, everybody has low times. If you don’t believe me and you could ask Elvis Presley, or you could ask Marilyn Monroe about the innermost secrets of how to obtain “the good life” I think
our hearts would ache. The church sees Satan’s images, listens to his lies, and becomes consumed by the desire to be like them, have the things they have, and to know what they know. We don’t see the
treadmill, the dark staring eyes, the aching of their souls for the simple pleasures a bloodbought Christian enjoys. Everytime they think they have arrived at “the good life” it evades them, and they search
some more. They attain, and they search some more, some more, some more. When “the good life” gets to be too much, where do they go” To a Doctor who is pursuing the exact same thing.

These are powerful words. Where do we go when we have problems? In the midst of our severest trial one of the most quoted scriptures  is Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good to
them that love God…” Before we can ever get to the “Hallelujah” side we have to say “Amen” to some things of life.

How often in our walk with God have we asked “Why? Why God? I never asked for it to hurt so much, I never asked for it to work out this way, I wouldn’t have do it this way; but somehow God, you’re
working it out in my life 2nd everything is working together for my good. I don’t know how, why, or when but I’m going to say Amen! Amen! Amen! And I’m going to leave it with you God.” You see, the “Amen” is
the open heart to receive all these things. So be it.

Our society abhors commitment. Today, when somebody goes to look for a job the first questions they ask are, “What are your vacation benefits and how many days off do I get, and what’s the pay, and how many days can I be sick, and you know I can’t seem to get to work on time but I need to get off early to pick up Junior at the childcare.” No one asks about how they can serve the company.

Today, no one is interested in marriage anymore; it’s too much hassle to get our of those ties that bind. Let’s just live together, that way when we have a problem it’s over and we walk out and forget it. No ties, no commitments. If we’re going to make it to heaven then there is going to have to be some big commitments made, and along with those commitments there will be some “Amens.” The “Amen” is the open heart. No matter what comes my way I’m going to live for God. However God’ leads and directs my life, simply “Amen.” So be it.

The “Hallelujah” is the full heart returning praise to God, not just for taking us through the hard times in our lives, but it is also that overflowing joy in knowing Him. In salvation. In feeling and knowing and being known to God. We finish our problem- solving with “Amen” and then we add the worship of “Hallelujah”
because of the deep-seated gratitude and love we feel toward our creator.

Picture this; Paul and Silas are in jail. First, they were beaten, so they are smeared in dried blood. Then, they were thrown into the innermost part of the prison – security. There is no such pleasure as a restroom. So they sat, chained in human filth, with the rats and bugs. Paul says to Silas, “Why do we do this?
Why don’t we just quit preaching? You call this the good life? We’re preaching the gospel and this is how God expresses His love to us?” And Silas agrees, “Yea, that’s right. I’m sick of all this. If we ever get out let’s denounce God and quit.”

Well? Don’t some of us fit into this scenario? Yes. But you know what really happened? They were beaten, they were bloody and sitting in human filth with the rats and bugs. So Paul looks over to that brother in Christ and says, “Silas, here we are in prison again. Amen. So be it. Let’s worship now, let’s sing some
songs.” So Silas began an old favorite and so soon that wonderful presence of God was right there with them. They sang “Hallelujah.” They didn’t argue, they didn’t question. They accepted, said Amen
and then worshipped with Hallelujah and the earth got to quaking, the walls got to shaking, and the doors to the prison started swinging open, and God delivered them. This is the secret that Paul learned and why he could say “I’ve learned to be happy in whatsoever state I’m in.”

It’s time for us just to say, “Amen!” But I refuse to just sit there and say so be it, but I’m going to come over and say “Hallelujah!”

The book of Psalms is divided into five separate divisions. Some authorities call them separatebooks. In the book of Psalms, the psalmist writes, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” He writes, “Unto thee will I cry, oh Lord, my rock. Se not silent unto me, lest if I be silent unto thee I will be like them that go down into the pit.” His soul is crying out.

The first book ends with, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting, Amen, and Amen.” The second book ends, “Amen and Amen.” The third book ends again – David’s praying, David’s seeking God, he’s tired and he’s reaching out talking about his enemies and he’s saying, “So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it.” But then he comes to the fourth book. Now remember, Amen almost always ends the verse. But in the fourth book, 106:48 there is a change. “Blessed be the Lord God of
Israel, from everlasting to everlasting, and let all the people say Amen, praise ye the Lord.” For awile it’s just a double Amen, but his praises and his prayers are gaining momentum. When we get to the last
of the book, almost every chapter begins with “Praise ye the Lord,” and almost every chapter ends with “Praise ye the Lord.” He’s running high now, he’s feeling the goodness of the Lord. “Let everything that
hath breath praise ye the Lord.” Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

This message singularly changed my thinking about some things. The Amens in life will grow into Hallelujahs if you stick with it. Sometimes we need the Hallelujahs to prepare us for the Amens. Part
of living for God is “Amen” so be it. Some problems become so complex they’ll destroy; but God wants us to say Amen to him. Final statement. And then to tap into our innermost joy we must express the
“Hallelujah”, the praise ye the Lord. We don’t worship music, we don’t worship worship, we don’t worship a beat…but we worship the God of the creation.

Revelation 19:1 “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God.”

Revelation 19:6. Note that the Alleluias seem to be getting louder and louder as they are repeated. “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

Victory comes as we yield to the Amen in our lives; the so be it’ The victory is not just giving thanks in our trials, but there comes from within the power of the Holy Ghost, the joy of the Lord a “Hallelujah” that builds to a crashing crescendo of love.

Thank you God for the “Amen” in out lives.

Thank you God for the “Hallelujah” we can offer up to you, but thank you, also, for the “Hallelujah you give back to us.

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